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Vedic Mathematics is the name given to the ancient system of Mathematics which was rediscovered from the Vedas between 1911 and 1918 by Sri Bharati Krsna Tirthaji (1884-1960). According to his research all of mathematics is based on sixteen Sutras or word-formulae. For example, 'Vertically and Crosswise` is one of these Sutras. These formulae describe the way the mind naturally works and are therefore a great help in directing the student to the appropriate method of solution.

Perhaps the most striking feature of the Vedic system is its coherence. Instead of a hotch-potch of unrelated techniques the whole system is beautifully interrelated and unified: the general multiplication method, for example, is easily reversed to allow one-line divisions and the simple squaring method can be reversed to give one-line square roots. And these are all easily understood. This unifying quality is very satisfying, it makes mathematics easy and enjoyable and encourages innovation.

In the Vedic system 'difficult' problems or huge sums can often be solved immediately by the Vedic method. These striking and beautiful methods are just a part of a complete system of mathematics which is far more systematic than the modern 'system'. Vedic Mathematics manifests the coherent and unified structure of mathematics and the methods are complementary, direct and easy.

The simplicity of Vedic Mathematics means that calculations can be carried out mentally (though the methods can also be written down). There are many advantages in using a flexible, mental system. Pupils can invent their own methods, they are not limited to the one 'correct' method. This leads to more creative, interested and intelligent pupils.

Interest in the Vedic system is growing in education where mathematics teachers are looking for something better and finding the Vedic system is the answer. Research is being carried out in many areas including the effects of learning Vedic Maths on children; developing new, powerful but easy applications of the Vedic Sutras in geometry, calculus, computing etc.

But the real beauty and effectiveness of Vedic Mathematics cannot be fully appreciated without actually practising the system. One can then see that it is perhaps the most refined and efficient mathematical system possible.

The Vedic Mathematics Sutras

This list of sutras is taken from the book Vedic Mathematics, which includes a full list of the sixteen Sutras in Sanskrit, but in some cases a translation of the Sanskrit is not given in the text and comes from elsewhere.

This formula 'On the Flag' is not in the list given in Vedic Mathematics, but is referred to in the text.

The Main Sutras

By one more than the one before.

All from 9 and the last from 10.

Vertically and Cross-wise

Transpose and Apply

If the Samuccaya is the Same it is Zero

If One is in Ratio the Other is Zero

By Addition and by Subtraction

By the Completion or Non-Completion

Differential Calculus

By the Deficiency

Specific and General

The Remainders by the Last Digit

The Ultimate and Twice the Penultimate

By One Less than the One Before

The Product of the Sum

All the Multipliers

The Sub Sutras


The Remainder Remains Constant

The First by the First and the Last by the Last

For 7 the Multiplicand is 143

By Osculation

Lessen by the Deficiency

Whatever the Deficiency lessen by that amount and

set up the Square of the Deficiency

Last Totalling 10

Only the Last Terms

The Sum of the Products

By Alternative Elimination and Retention




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